Ad Nut
Feb 21, 2023

Sweet dreams are made of bills

Korea's Hana Bank and independent agency The Watermelon have teamed up to prey on people's superstitions and dress it up as environmentalism by stuffing pillows with old banknotes.

Sweet dreams are made of bills

Like any good squirrel, Ad Nut loves a good stash (no, not stache). Yes, there are acorns aplenty in nooks and crannies all over Ad Nut's tree, in places only Ad Nut knows and goes. Humans have their stashes too, but more predictably tend to store their savings in the bank (i.e. in computers), though the old guard is still known to be fond of stashing away cash under their mattresses. 

Just as Ad Nut can rest easier when the stocks are full, so too are humans said to sleep better knowing they have cash close at hand. 

Given this, Korea's Hana Bank has teamed up with independent agency The Watermelon, to help humans cash, sorry catch, more zzz's by giving them a chance to sleep on a pile of banknotes.

Their marketing gimmick?  Money Dream. It's a pillow stuffed with recycled damaged bank notes that intends to give customers 'wealth energy' as they sleep. 

On the one hand, the campaign purports to address a "serious problem" of banknote waste. The agency says that if all of Korea's unfit bills were piled up, it would be seven times as tall as Mount Everest. This sounds a bit far-fetched to Ad Nut. Perhaps if the bills alone were stacked singularly this might be true, but it wouldn't be a mountain of bills seven times the size of Everest. And are banknotes really the big waste problem compared to other polluting materials like plastics?

On the other hand, it also simply tries to prey on superstitions around money and good luck, as explained by the agency's marketing materials:

Many Koreans think that owning a bank-made item at home can bring wealth to the household. ‘The.WATERMELON’ capitalized on this superstition by creating a pillow made with recycled unfit banknotes, and also used a play on words that sound similar to ‘giving money’ in Korean. The campaign contains a meaning that you will dream of winning money, and it will come true. For this reason, many consumers are making wishes in comments on Hana Bank's YouTube, where the campaign advertisement was posted.

"It is a pleasure to imagine sleeping with money as a pillow," said a Hana Bank official in the release, “I hope this campaign brings fortune to many customers dreaming of striking it rich.”

Really? Ad Nut has tried this, sleeping on a stash of nuts, but in the morning no magical bounty suddenly appeared. All savings have had to be earned by honest hard work. 

Ad Nut will fully accept that Ad Nut may not be catching all the cultural nuances that might allow Korean consumers to make a withdrawal of positive experiences from this product. Nonetheless, in this case Ad Nut can't help but advise that the only good fortune likely to come from sleeping on these pillows is a windfall of press coverage for agency (some 358 press articles in the US alone, so they claim).

Oops. Make that 359 articles globally now. Hmm, maybe it does work. 

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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